( 2021-2022 entry / exit figures : 117 816 )
The South Eastern railway opened Aylesford with the line in 1856, and like the rest of the stations on the line had quite a unique look. A stone built station building on the Strood bound side stands proudly, allegedly echoing that of the architecture of the nearby priory. Its grand nature could also be attributed to the fact that this part of the railway went through the land of Mr Edward Betts, the lines railway contractor.
The station building was made of Kentish ragstone, and this two story affair would not look out of place at a major station, and the fact it still stands today is a testament to those who planned and built it. The chimneys on the top are yellow brick, standard fayre for the South East railway. Unfortunately it is not a booking office now, but an Indian restaurant, but at least this means it is being maintained.
The original signal box was made of timber, however the replacement seen below was put in place in the late 1920s. A more substantial brick design design, it has a similar extension to that at Snodland. It is also a very eye pleasing structure, and hopefully will never be removed.
A building across the road here is in similar style to the station building, and I assume it may have been the station masters house at one point.
Goods facilities here were positioned to the north of the Maidstone bound side, with a large goods shed similar to that at Snodland. Another dock style siding was positioned on the Strood bound side, behind the station building.
To note here, a foot crossing was originally the way to cross the lines, but a footbridge was added in the late 1800’s
At time of writing, passenger services are provided by class 375 electric multiple units, at the rate of two per hour in each direction.
Aylesford is a very pretty station. The setting on a curve gives great views as trains come in and leave. But the stars of the show are surely the buildings. The elegant station building and signal box still stand proud here, and make it an excellent place for photography. Unfortunately the main roads surrounding it make good videography difficult, but the views you gain outweigh that fact. Come and give it a visit, you will not be disappointed.
Below is a video of Aylesford railway station :
Click for the Kent Community Rail Partnership